A recently created online petition at the White House’s “We the People” site has reached epic proportions. The petition, titled “Legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group” has reached more than 275,000 signatures as of Thursday.
In doing so, the petition has more than doubled any other petition on the website. Reportedly, it has become the most popular petition on the site, ever.
The “We the People” site was created to let Americans make direct requests — via petition — of the Obama administration. If a petition reaches 25,000 signatures during a 30-day period, it earns an official response from the White House (the threshold has varied since the program was instituted; this is the current value).
The petition says:
This group has been recognized as a hate group by organizations, such as The Southern Poverty Law Center, and has repeatedly displayed the actions typical of hate groups.
Their actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians. They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation.
Once a petition reaches the threshold, the White House must officially respond, in one way or another. Not all responses come swiftly, but some do. Following the horrific mass shooting at the Newtown, Conn. Sandy Hook Elementary School, a petition asking for gun control legislation has already been responded to.
On the other hand, a petition to deport Piers Morgan from the U.S. because of his on-air statements on gun control has not been responded to — yet.
And while some petitions are serious, some are not, such as the recent one which called on the U.S. to create a Death Star (and yes, it has passed the threshold).
Westboro Baptist Church — if it is not a hate group — sure acts like one. Most of its congregation is related to its head pastor Fred Phelps (pictured). Examples of its activity include picketing at the funerals of U.S. soldiers, congratulating Jared Lee Loughner for his Tucson shootings (including the killing of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green), and threatening to picket at the funeral of Taylor-Green.
The church also threatened to picket at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It takes these actions because it feels the U.S. is too permissive in its treatment of homosexuals, which is why the deaths of soldiers and people in mass shootings occur — a Calvinist view.